You hardly ever hear mothers use the expression “free time”. In a typical day, most moms would agree that there are simply not enough hours to do the basic tasks, let alone find time to read a book, take a nap, or cook a meal with more than three ingredients. The idea of finding time to relax, regroup or re-energize is almost unfathomable. Most moms are totally okay with this because they adore their children to the end of the earth and even feel a little perplexed by the idea of having some free “me”” time at all. However, what if? What if you had one hour to yourself and a little fantasy cash, what would you do? We asked our Medela Facebook community moms and got some wonderfully funny and “yes please” answers. A surprising number of moms, however, felt a little guilty even thinking about taking time off but with a little encouragement, they offered plenty of good ideas.
Let Me Escape to a Warm Magical Place
One of the most popular options was a very simple escape to a fantasy destination. Tara said, “I love spending time with my twins, but if I could get an hour to myself and do anything in the world that I wanted, I would spend that hour at a bath house like one I once visited in Budapest. The weather would be perfectly warm and sunny. I would soak in the water for a while and then I would wrap myself up in a large cotton bath sheet and doze in the sun. I might also need to have a glass of wine and some pastries.”
Jolene agreed saying, “If I let my imagination run wild, I’d spend that hour relaxing in a hammock by a warm ocean with a nice cocktail in hand.” Erica summed the escapist option with her comment, “I would relax on a warm sunny day at the beach with glass of wine. I would pay someone that I trust to take care of my three kids at home, after I have pumped some milk for my little 4 months old baby, so I can ”really relax” at the beach….that would be nice.”
Feed Me Decadent Treats
Feeding children, including hours of breastfeeding, is a big part of a mother’s day so it was not surprising that some women said that they would nourish themselves with special treats if they had a free time. Heather envisaged herself “on a sunny day, in a luxurious lounge chair, a glass of wine, a fantastic book and a plate of nachos.” While Carey said, “I would honestly go grab myself a real lunch, go sit under a tree at the beach or the park – not watching anyone, just relaxing soaking up the sun. I would buy some of those foods that you only get on special occasions.” Sasha’s desires were simple – a fancy lunch on a sunny terrace!
Indulge Me with Ice Cream
This answer was one of my personal favorites. Karina said that even though she needed a haircut and pedicure, she would feel weird without her kids even for an hour, so she would stay home with them and eat ice cream.
Let Me Relax and Do Things with Two Hands
Unless you have a quiet baby, reading a magazine as a mom is almost impossible. Adrianne says she would love to sit and read a book since she has not been able to do that for 2 years. With her fantasy money, she would pay someone to clean her house, do the laundry and put it away. Simple enough. Roxanne agrees saying, “I would just go read a book in a coffee shop and knit and celebrate the simple pleasures of doing things with two hands!”
Pamper Me Head to Toe
It is not a surprise that many of the women who responded to our question mentioned they would choose some kind of pampering treat for their “me time.” Angela just said very simply, “I would spend every last cent of my money at a relaxing spa.” Liane would have a massage and facial, and then have her nails and hair done. Nathalie said in such a poignant way, “My children are my life but 1 hour just for “me time” would probably be to go get a great massage. With the lack of sleep and caring for the baby, the body accumulates lots of stress, so a relaxing massage would be perfect. Getting my hair done would be great too.”
Claudia said that with one free hour, “I would head to the spa for a deep muscle massage for my back and shoulders, come home refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for more cuddles! Kacey added, “I can’t even imagine an hour all to myself. With 5-month-old twins that refuse to sleep at the same time, it’s been nonstop. I wouldn’t change my lack of sleep for the world but would LOVE to go and be pampered for an hour & FINALLY get my hair done would be a dream come true.” Lots more women agreed!
Cherish Me with Something Special
This was a moving answer. Jody said, “I think I would buy myself a very special piece of jewelry that represents the miracle baby daughter that we tried 7 years for, that I gave birth to on May 8th. Probably something with a sparkly green stone since emerald is her May birthstone. I would also buy my husband a meaningful personalized keepsake for his first father’s day coming up this June.”
The creativity of women in our community was wonderful and ideas for how they would spend an hour by themselves was inspiring and eclectic. Stephanie said, “I would like a hot meal served to me with no dishes after, a tub of ice cream and a hot, steamy shower. Followed by cuddles with my husband and two boys. Time to myself is great but nothing in the world beats a good family snuggle.” Other than an occasional passionate desire for an hour of uninterrupted sleep, most women were energetic and ready to go! Candace said, “With an hour to myself and some money, I would hire someone to clean my house top to bottom while I drive around, windows down, blasting my car stereo and singing 90’s music. Freedom!”
Finally, there was still a touch of romance in the air as Elissa admitted, “I would definitely go spend a night away with my husband, since we don’t get a lot of time together. Getting fun expensive drinks and food. Then a couples massage, some sort of show…it would be so fun to reconnect.”
So the outcome of our conversation with the Medela Community was that mothers could definitely think of many wonderful things that they could do to treat themselves – but most were quick to admit that all those activities were optional, but not essential. Shaggy hair, broken nails or tired arms and legs were all part of the job they signed up to do – and most said that if they had to choose, they would not trade any of the “we time” with children for the “me time” alone.
What would you do if you had one hour to be on your own? Join the discussion at the Medela Malaysia Facebook page